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What is worse - physical or verbal/emotional abuse?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Dice, Jul 19, 2012.

?

What is worse, physical or verbal/emotional abuse?

  1. Verbal/emotional

    11 vote(s)
    61.1%
  2. Physical

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  1. Mesmero

    Mesmero How'd an old elf get the blues?

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    I find it interesting that verbal and emotional abuse get grouped together like that. I think both verbal and physical abuse can bring emotional abuse (as has been suggested by others), but also that you can have emotional abuse without either.
     
  2. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    That is true, my faithful critic. Credit goes to Blades of Vanatar for this:

    My apologies for missing this. Thanks to Joa for pointing out.


    Ah, I think we're somewhat stuck with definitions here. See, I would classify what you mentioned as emotional abuse. If somebody makes a point out of violating your personal space, it's emotional. More purely physical abuse would be something like throwing a punch in a bar or some case of physical dispute resolution. But when it's about making you feel all sorts of things that generally concentrates on depriving you of your confidence, then that's emotional.

    Yes but those feelings can be deceptive. They could be poor guides.

    Yeah, at some point you need to deal with old stuff. Sometimes reprieve doesn't last forever. I've got stuff coming back at me too. There's a reason I went on to study criminal law, you know. That reasoned happened when I was 10 years of age or less, and had nothing to do with anything physical, nothing core at least. A girl accused me of physical abuse, her mum came to class, was friends with the teacher, they made a public spectacle, I defended myself vigorously but there's a limit to what you can do as a young kid that wants to cry when bigger people pick on him and are obviously acting unjustly. You couldn't believe the extent I invest myself in lost cases. One time I worked full time (plus commute) and still logged >100 hours in 10 days outside work. I was tripping and talking rubbish, apart from looking like a wino, when filing the darn thing on 11:59 p.m. of the last day of the deadline. But there always comes time when you just need to outgrow it and become normal. Perhaps more sensitive to certain problems, injustices in the world, but normal. For the sake of you, your family, your children (perhaps in the reverse order). Forgiveness helps. Believer or not (which I have no way of knowing), you just can't not know, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." A lot of abusers are people who themselves had been abused or who for other reasons couldn't live up to the situation. Because they were clueless, weak, insecure, possibly were suffering inside. (Which doesn't mean they can't simply have been mean but I don't think that's the typical explanation and even if so, then at least in children it tends to testify to insufficient upbringing.)

    If you define severity as how damaging it feels to the victim then yes, in that case only the severity matters.

    Yes, that includes insults and other such that you can't prove, especially to a hostile "judge"/audience, who will be ready to dismiss any allegation of abuse with a smirk of condescension, telling you you're just making it up.

    Or, in other words, it's abuse. People have come up with the idea that rape is not a sex crime (which is an obvious falsehood) but a crime of violence, control (this last part is correct). But the same could in many cases be said about "good old" beating. Beating into submission. Beating to assert dominance. Beating to make the abuser feel better about himself. All emo stuff.

    Yeah. Shows plenty a lot in marriage/romantic relationships (where unwitting and often mutual abuse is not unheard of to say the least).

    Yup. At that point it's kinda no holds barred. Incidentally, this comment of yours does hint at physical abuse bringing in a new level of gravity. It's really hard to place "physical" and "mental/emotional" separately from each other, let alone in opposition, let alone consistently hold one of them to be "worse" than the other.

    Logically, the physical would come with added value, wouldn't it? Emotional would be present in both cases, physical only in one. But it does come to severity anyway and it also comes down to how you feel.

    You can't compare the two without comparing the gravity or severity of abuse. In the end it doesn't really matter if it's physical or mental/emotional, it matters how bad it is.

    Depends. A child could be a little overspanked plus "only" moderately taunted or otherwise humiliated by a parent who has difficulty coming up with a more constructive reaction to what he perceives as unsatisfactory behaviour or contribution or achievement. Not as bad as consistently telling the kid he's worthless.

    Thanks. Well, I'd say physical abuse is for obvious reasons more common from husband to wife than the other way round as in most cases the man is larger, stronger, than the woman. On the other hand, I have no real information or idea as to how prevalent emotional abuse really is in the society and which sex commits more of it. But I do think that modern society tends to promote the objectification of women while tolerating mental/emotional abuse of men by women and thinking it's somehow funny or normal. For the record, normal people abuse too. Sometimes victims in one abuse are offenders in another abuse. Sometimes unwittingly. For example, a person can be hurt badly in romantic relationships but also have hurt others with the resulting passive aggressive inclinations. People who've had it rough can act like they're in constant warfare and where there's warfare, there's collateral damage, friendly fire, bad tempers. (And a feeling of being justified in taking harsh means.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  3. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Both are wrong and can do serious damage to a person. Verbal abuse can be subtle. Extreme verbal abuse may not be legal depending on the jurisdiction but most verbal abuse is much more refined. A woman I know constantly put down her husband in public. It was embarrassing to hear; Other than divorce what recourse did he have?

    A small child who is made to feel inferior or unwanted will carry those scars for life.

    As for the choice between being slapped, punched or yelled at, insulted in some way I take the slap or the punch. I can then sue you or have you locked up.

    If by physical abuse is meant so extreme that it causes permanent physical damage no I would not want that.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think the problem with verbal is even if it is illegal in certain circumstances, it would be extremely difficult to prove. Physical abuse can be documented - you can take a picture of a bruise, scar, etc. Not so with emotional/verbal.
     
  5. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    A powerful, malicious and skilled manipulator can destroy your life with the right words. If you are dependent on that person, financially or emotionally, you are always in a bleak situation. They can get a normal person to put an end to their own life.

    Physical abuse is very clearly illegal and punishable. It shouldn't be feared as much. Chaotic evil will face the law eventually.

    Here's 2 situations where the 2 types are clearly separated:

    Emotional: A husband takes a bit of money out of the joined account. He plans to take his mistress out to dinner and stay in a hotel. The loving wife knows this, but doesn't know what to do. It hurts.

    Physical: Another husband, often in disagreement with his wife over their poor finances, occasionally lashes out at her with a punch. He always regrets it immediately, and there is no other abuse besides this. It still hurts.

    If they occur in equal frequency, say once a week, I'd rather suffer a weekly punch to the face than a weekly blow to my pride and relationship. That's my take.
     
  6. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    So what a few of you are basically saying is that physical abuse is so much worse that society has made it illegal and now that it is is illegal and provable, verbal abuse is worse because you can't go to the cops?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  7. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Not exactly. Let me give a more real example.
    My ex-wife systematically cheated me out of my savings, then left me for a millionaire. All the justice I can get is a "you should have been more careful" from family, friends and authorities. To me, it feels like blaming someone for being emotionally defendent on their partner. I won't even dirty my hands with the 'enabler-argument', that's just insult to injury.

    I was robbed, no physical violence was used. But there was a lot of emotional manipulation involved. My only chance of seeing some justice, was letting her try to divorce her own filipina ass without my cooperation(marriage wasn't registered in Holland yet, and Philippines forbids divorce), but of course I cooperated, because I was still emotionally dependant.

    Emotional abusers get people to continually hurt themselves for their benefit, whether it be financial, or just attention and gratification. There is no pain response telling you you can't go on like this, it just continues until the abuser loses interest.

    Finally, yes, it's much easier to go to the cops with physical abuse. But physical abusers are not long-lasting. While a beaten wife can go to a shelter once the police see her bruises, an emotionally abused and financially drained partner will likely never see justice. The culprit gets away with all the benefits, and no crime ever took place.
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    What you describe sounds like a relationship and marriage that ended in divorce.
     
  9. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    I hope you'll always be blissfully unaware of emotional abuse.

    You'll never lose your savings to a manipulator who pretends to love you for a passport and money. You won't have to sit at home during festivals, while your partner is enjoying herself with some prostitute-frequenting millionaire. You won't feel like you're burning inside, while the happy couple drag their 'friend' along as third wheel on their first dates, to revel in her envy as she is battling breast cancer. You won't have to hear the horrible stories spread about you and your mother, while in fact you both invested time, money, effort and emotions to be at the wedding in the Philippines not six weeks earlier. You won't have to face scorn, as everybody around you thinks you're an idiot for trusting your wife. You will be able to have a healthy relationship, with some savings to invest in a family. Your new partner won't be saddened by the fact that there's no money left. You won't have to consider abortion because you're out of money. Every time your finances are in difficulty, you won't be reminded of who did that to you, your new partner, and all the people around you.

    Most of all, you won't think: "Hey, I know how to find them. Why don't I see to their punishment? I was taught that bad things happen if you steal from people, but as long as they are unpunished, it's not true. It's not just hurting me, it's harming society. Oh, but my wife's pregnant now, so I can't do that. I'll just have to live with the fact that my contribution to society is negative now."

    I hope you'll always be blissfully unaware of emotional abuse. But I do hope you'll be more careful with your opinion in the future. Yes it was a relationship and marriage that ended in divorce, but that fails to describe the abuse in any way. Please don't make light of others' misery.
     
  10. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    I don't think joacqin took it lightly, I think most of what you describe is quite common in divorce. Very few divorces I know of had happy endings and at least one side was damaged. It's even worse when there's kids involved. After the divorce it seems more or less the norm that someone will be left broke, emotionally drained, possibly depressed and alone. Most recover sooner or later but some never do.

    I don't know if I can answer the question of the topic since I've never really been seriously physically or emotionally abused to greater extent so it's difficult to compare. I'd say continuous physical abuse eventually develops into emotional abuse so the worst would be a combination of both. There's not a whole lot worse I could think of than living in constant fear.
     
  11. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Now Morgoth beat me to it due to my internet crashing but here I post a mirror of his reply anyway.

    I wasn't but most people I have met have similar stories of misery after failed marriages and relationships. Seems to be part of life, some relationships and break ups are worse than others but few are pretty. I guess my point was, you are not unique. What you describe is not much different from millions of other failed relationships. If a failed relationship is abuse, maybe, I don't know. I am too cautious and cowardly to ever expose myself in that way (yet). But even I know that you can't have love without risking abuse and that many many relationships end in heartache and misery.
     
  12. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    If a person turns out to have been malicious from the start, willfully lied and deceived in order to steal from you, then that is wrong. But there is no law against it, so it just comes across as a preachy, subjective opinion. I don't like sounding like a conservative here, but it is completely abusing the concept of marriage. But since courts can't look inside a gold-digger's head, it is impossible to punish the criminal.

    I haven't had a relationship that started with mutual love and ended in breakup, but I feel safe to say what happened to me is worse. I was abused by a 'person' that had been raised by family, culture, and media to behave in this fashion. Everyone who knew us has now learned that if you steal from people, good things happen. I wasn't just abused; I also served as an advertisement promoting such human abuse.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I'm backing coin on this one. While it is self-evident that any time there is a divorce there is going to be a feeling of sadness, loss, and other emotional baggage, what coin describes is completely different. Of course most divorces don't have happy endings, because if they were happy they wouldn't have got divorced. But this isn't your typical run of the mill divorce.

    What makes coin's situation different is that most marriages BEGIN happy. Typically no one enters a marriage with the intent to later get divorced. Sure, everyone should realize that such is a possibility, but no one expects it to happen. And certainly NO ONE expects that it will happen SIX FREAKIN WEEKS after they get married. Nearly everyone who gets married loved their spouse at the time of their marriage. Feelings can change and people can change over time, and sometimes this leads to divorce - but that does not change the fact that the people loved each other at the time they got married.

    The odds of this woman gonig from blissfully in love to seeking divorce in six weeks seems pretty remote to me. I'd say chances are she never loved coin to begin with, and she has used him for all he's worth. Coin is going through all the pain of divorce, minus the cold comfort that there are happy memories and good reasons that they got married in the first place. There was no happiness that ended in misery - just the bad here. And add to that that there is a baby on the way. I don't know what's worse in this situation. If she's only been married for six weeks, they'll probably deport her ass back to the Phillipines, and then coin has to worry about his child half a world away? How many people who get divorced have to go through that?

    So yeah, I'd say I would be pretty god damn bitter if that happened to me, and coin has every right to feel that way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
    coineineagh likes this.
  14. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    AFI - you are forgetting the Kardashians . . . :p
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I said most people - the Kardashians are aliens who have taken the appearance of humans to blend in.

    The larger point is to describe the emotional pain that this is causing coin to be just like almost every other divorce you see, seems patently false to me. Laughable even.
     
  16. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    I agree. The "until you wear the shoes" adage applies here, and making blanket statements about the nature of divorce and lumping all types together is about as valid as saying that all physical and emotional abuse is basically the same thing, categorized as 'abuse,' and that everyone responds to it identically.

    Not so. Even within two identical divorces, two different people might respond to them radically differently just based on their psychology. Throw in other unfortunate circumstances like coineineagh detailed and you've got a potential mix of all kinds of crazy emotions running at cross-purposes to one another and just generally making life miserable.

    I don't know that C's divorce details are THE worst I've ever heard of, but they do sound like a very unpleasant variety, and I've found that it's very ill-advised to attempt to categorize unhappiness and tell people how much or how little any particular circumstance should affect them, precedent or no.
     
  17. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I guess coin at least loved her, then he got massively screwed and yes probably more than most. Tag it down as a lesson learned, do not marry someone from a poor country if you yourself are from a rich country unless you are absolutely sure feelings are mutual. Sadly for too many people who lack so much we take for granted "westerners" are little more than walking ATMs (and for too many westerners people from poor countries are nothing more than bodies to be abused and thrown away). I see plenty of those relationships where I work and in the best case scenario they are mutually taking advantage of each other's situation. Tough situation though, my closest co-worker went and married a gal from the Ivory coast. He is 20ish years older than her and I wonder if he has ever had a girlfriend before (he is in his fifties and he basically lived with his parents until his father died last year). Now I could air my doubts about the sincerity of this woman's feelings but I won't. It is not my place. He has to learn for himself and hopefully my cynicism is unfounded. I suspect though that he is rushing headlong into your situation coin, right now she is back in Ivory Coast to sort out her visa, apparently that will take six months and I have heard mentions of her needing "bribe" money. You have been in a situation similar to his coin, what do you recommend that I as a co-worker do? Should I air my suspicions and doubts or should I let him blissfully run the risk of getting screwed like you did without knowing what hit him? He is infatuated and I do not think my prejudice and cynicism would be welcomed.

    As for the topic of the thread I don't know, I just know that most people tend to be willing to endure massive amounts of verbal/emotional instead of physical abuse. I don't really know if this is an apt analogy and I am sure people will be offended but there are countless of cases where women (and some men) have preferred to be raped and the emotional damage that follows than to be beaten up or physically hurt otherwise. I think it is too easy to say "I'll take the punch" but it is a completely different situation when you are in such a situation.
     
  18. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Aldeth, thanks for the support. I think you did misunderstand something, though: My ex was never pregnant by me, my new wife is. I'm in fact 'half a world away' now, to care for my wife while she is pregnant. I might return to Holland if money issues get bad, but I don't look forward to it. And it's our child that is also robbed of the savings I intended for him/her. My own family refuses to give any support because of what happened to me before, and the Chinese family helps out only because they don't know about my history.

    joacquin, it's better not to give advice to him. He will just rise in her defense. Some of those girls are in fact honest, so it's no guarantee she will betray his trust either. If you do offer advice, make sure you ask 'permission' before doing so, and check now and then with "are you still interested?"

    You can't look into someone's head, that's why gold-diggers can successfully pose as honest women. Pre-judging women because they *might* be gold-diggers will not be appreciated. Unsolicited advice and value judgements were one of my biggest irritations. If the guy's determined to be with her, there's little chance what you say will change his mind. It will just come across as: "If something bad happens, then I told you so.:p"

    Maybe a last tip: There are girls who remain 'honest' as long as you still have money in the bank. Richer guys will have more success finding a girl in such a country. If the girl is costing too much, risk that she will leave in the end increases. If your friend is rich, it will probably work out after all. If he isn't, it probably won't.
     
  19. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    He is not rich at all, he basically lost his job this spring and only got it back due to a lack of applicants.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Oh, I hadn't realized that you were remarried, so I assumed it was the ex that you were referring to as the one being pregnant. Then again, it would have been really foolish of your ex if she was planning on getting divorced to get pregnant first, and given that it seems her decision was a caluclated one, it wouldn't really fit in with the overall narrative.

    I doubt this will make you feel any better, but if you want to look on the bright side, that is one of very few ways that the situation could have been worse. I mean, if there was a child involved with your ex, there would have been a permanent connection there, unless you wanted no part of the child's life. And even then there would be all the child support money that would put you even deeper in the hole.

    I guess the better quesiton is at least are you and your new wife happy now? It may well take years to undo the damage in terms of lost savings. You'll never actually get it back of course, but it may take a long time to get your savings back to where they once were. But at least if the two of you are happy together, you have a chance of it all working out.

    Although I suppose that's easy for me to say having never been in your situation nor one that is even remotely similar to it. I did save up money before having a child with my wife, so at least that level of stress was removed from an already stressful situation of becoming a parent. And I can't complain about ever being poor in my entire life. (I certainly don't consider myself wealthy, but I grew up in a middle class family, and I'm a middle class person today.)
     
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